Big Blue Links for Monday:
- Wescott Eberts of SB Nation has a neat story about how Trent Dilfer helped played a joke on Conner quarterback and UK commit Drew Barker in inviting him to the Elite 11 Nike Camp in Oregon. Aside from the joke, Dilfer said of Barker, “”He’s a great kid. He’s so powerful. He’s got really quick feet. I told him the truth the first time I saw him — ‘You look like a great athlete because of who you’re playing against. You’re not a great athlete yet, but I think you have it in you.’”
- Kyle Wiltjer’s father tells the Portland Tribune that his son is not 100 percent committed to transferring. “”‘Kyle has a great relationship with Calipari, but he’s not a stereotypical Calipari player,” Greg Wiltjer said. “If he were at Duke or some other place, they’d be running him off screens, but that’s not the Kentucky system. And now he has all these thoroughbreds coming in. Kyle’s biggest challenge is his body. He needs to get stronger and quicker, to get help with nutrition, strength and agility.’”
- Mike Organ of the Tennessean writes on former Vanderbilt football coach Woody Widenhofer, who took a job as a tollbooth operator after retirement. “I was just looking for something to do to keep busy,” Widenhofer said. “The recession had hit, and jobs were hard to find. I went to work at the tollbooth, and I enjoyed it. I liked the people I worked with, I enjoyed the people I met who came through.”
- Morehead State transfer DeMario Mayfield has been indicted on conspiracy to commit robbery, reports the Charlotte Observer.
- All KY Hoops reports that Josh Harrellson has won an honor in China.
- The AJC’s Chip Towers reports on a Clemson player trash talking Georgia in advance of team’s season opener. Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins said, “People talk about Georgia, Florida State and South Carolina, but I’m not worried about them, I’m concentrated on what we do. If we come out and beat Georgia — not just beat ‘em but beat the mess out of ‘em like we should — I don’t see no problems in getting started in the right direction.”
- Zac Ellis of SI.com writes that Mike Leach has something to prove this season at Washington State. “Still, the wild card in Leach’s second season at Washington State is the program’s internal state of affairs. Leach lost his job at Texas Tech over allegations of mistreatment to a former player, and different allegations emerged last season via Washington State receiver Marquess Wilson, who quit the team in November for alleged abuse by Leach and his staff. Though an investigation found no wrongdoing by Leach — and Wilson eventually recanted his statement — it was a troubling development given the coach’s checkered past.”
- John Patton of the Gainesville Sun reports that Aaron Hernandez‘s former teammates are stunned the ex-Gator is charged with murder. ”I could not (have ever imagined this),” former Florida quarterback John Brantley said Saturday afternoon. “The tattoos and everything and how he acts. … Fights happen. Whatever. But he was always good to me, always a friend to me. I knew I could call him, and he would answer. But I never saw that coming, and it’s sad and it’s out of his hands now. It’s whatever now. It’s sad.”
- Florida’s walk-on punter is picked up for a DUI on his scooter, reports the Gainesville Sun.
- The Montgomery Advertiser reports Auburn is clearing the way for 2,000 more tailgate spaces for football games.
- Rick Cleveland writes for the NE Mississippi Daily Journal that Mississippi State’s College World Series run added another chapter to Magnolia State lore. “Here, college baseball matters. Both State and Ole Miss rank in the top five nationally in attendance. Southern Miss ranks in the top 20. Delta State is one of the elite Division II programs. Millsaps reached the Division III World Series this season. In my mind, State’s 2013 baseball run is in the top five all-time.”